TEHRAN (Press Shia) – French special forces are present on the ground in Yemen with forces from the United Arab Emirates, French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Saturday, citing two military sources.

The newspaper gave no further information about their activities. The Defense Ministry was not immediately available for comment, but its usual policy is not to comment on special forces’ operations, Reuters reported.

A French parliamentary source recently told Reuters French special forces were in Yemen.

The French Defense Ministry said on Friday that France was studying the possibility of carrying out a mine-sweeping operation to provide access to the port of Hudaydah once the coalition had wrapped up its military operations.

The ministry stressed that France at this stage had no military operations in the Hudaydah region and was not part of the Saudi-led coalition.

France, along with the United States and Britain, backs the Arab coalition in the Yemen conflict and provides weapons to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries began a massive operation on Wednesday to bring Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah under their control.

While the Yemeni army and popular committees are fighting off the assailants and countering attacks on residential areas, international humanitarian organizations have warned of dire consequences of any escalation of violence around Hudaydah.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande has announced that “as many as 250,000 people may lose everything -even their lives,” if there is a military attack on Hudaydah.